Pleasantville High School Senior Riley Thill participated in the Global Youth Institute hosted by the World Food Prize Foundation in Des Moines Monday. Each participant presented their findings from school projects on improving food insecurity in other parts of the world, including identifying issues and potential solutions. Thill says her approach was from an educational perspective.

“I presented on Somalia, and I wanted to propose an educational system with a different curriculum than the typical reading, math and science. I wanted to do lessons on self-defense, women’s rights, proper sanitation, water filtration. These are all preventable issues for citizens of the United States.”

Thill was one of about 200 students worldwide selected to participate in this event. Her project stemmed from a junior ag class thesis paper on world food insecurity. After receiving high praise from her high school ag teacher, Thill submitted her paper to the Iowa Youth Institute. She presented it at that program, and was nominated by the judges to move on to the global conference. The World Food Prize Foundation was formed by famed Iowa agronomist Norman Borlaug in 1986.